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Russian Roulette, Not Drug Dealers, Killed Crime Fighter

August 26, 1989

FORESTVILLE, Md. (AP) _ A Guardian Angel whose shooting death last weekend led to protests and accusations from the crimefighting group had killed himself playing Russian roulette with two members, one of them 14, authorities in this District of Columbia suburb said Friday.

″I should have used more caution″ before criticizing police and publicly naming two people as the suspected killers, said Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa after learning of the results of the police investigation.

Sliwa also said he would meet with members of the civilian group to emphasize its policy against weapons.

Prince George’s County police Lt. Col. Robert Phillips said Dorian Brown, 19, had apparently initiated the game and was the first one to pull the trigger on the .357-caliber Magnum when he was killed late Saturday night.

One of the other two was 14 years old and the other was 22, Phillips said, refusing to name them. He also said Brown had been drinking and with a blood alcohol level of 0.07 percent was close to the 0.08 percent concentration that Maryland uses to define as ″under the influence″ of alcohol. The state defines ″intoxicated″ as 0.10 percent.

″It’s just a terrible tragedy for the group, for Dorian and the community at large,″ Sliwa said.

Russian roulette is played by loading only one round into a revolver and spinning the cylinder. The player then points the gun at his own head and pulls the trigger, hoping the hammer strikes an empty chamber.

The shooting happened in the organization’s office in a drug-ridden apartment complex where the group has patrolled since April. The group immediately claimed the recruit was killed by drug dealers and organized several demonstrations this week to protest Brown’s death.

Phillips said the tragedy began when Brown found the door to the office ajar.

Sliwa said Brown ″called in two recruits that he knew personally.″

″Because one of them assumed there was a break-in, one took his father’s revolver,″ Sliwa said. ″They went to the headquarters and were sitting around. Apparently Dorian had booze and he and one other (recruit) were drinking and the other one took the weapon out.″

Sliwa said he would reinforce the anti-weapons policy ″in the face of this prevailing notion that you solve problems with a gun.″

Earlier in the day, bounty hunters captured a member of the Guardian Angels unit, Michael Marshall, 19, who they said had failed to appear in Baltimore County Circuit Court on a robbery charge.

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